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Archive for the ‘A-B (by poet name)’ Category

Two pictures hung on the dingy wall
Of a grand old Florentine hall –

One of a child of beauty rare,
With a cherub face and golden hair;
The lovely look of whose radiant eyes
Filled the soul with thoughts of Paradise.

The other was a visage vile
Marked with the lines of lust and guile,
A loathsome being, whose features fell
Brought to the soul weird thoughts of hell.

Side by side in their frames of gold,
Dingy and dusty and cracked and old,
This is the solemn tale they told:

A youthful painter found one day,
In the streets of Rome, a child at play,
And, moved by the beauty it bore,
The heavenly look that its features wore,

On a canvas, radiant and grand,
He painted its face with a master hand.
Year after year on his wall it hung;
‘Twas ever joyful and always young –
Driving away all thoughts of gloom
While the painter toiled in his dingy room.

Like an angel of light it met his gaze,
Bringing him dreams of his boyhood days,
Filling his soul with a sense of praise.

His raven ringlets grew thin and gray,
His young ambition all passed away;
Yet he looked for years in many a place,
To find a contrast to that sweet face.

Through haunts of vice in the night he stayed
To find some ruin that crime had made.
At last in a prison cell he caught
A glimpse of the hideous fiend he sought.

On a canvas weird and wild but grand,
He painted the face with a master hand.

His task was done; ’twas a work sublime –
An angel of joy and a fiend of crime –
A lesson of life from the wrecks of time.

O Crime: with ruin thy road is strewn;
The brightest beauty the world has known
Thy power has wasted, till in the mind
No trace of its presence is left behind.

The loathsome wretch in the dungeon low,
With a face of a fiend and a look of woe,
Ruined by revels of crime and sin,
A pitiful wreck of what might have been,
Hated and shunned, and without a home,
Was the child that played in the streets of Rome.

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A Texas cowboy lay down on a barroom floor,
Having drunk so much he could drink no more;
So he fell asleep with a troubled brain
To dream that he rode on a hell-bound train.

The engine with murderous blood was damp
And was brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp;
An imp, for fuel, was shoveling bones,
While the furnace rang with a thousand groans.

The boiler was filled with lager beer
And the devil himself was the engineer;
The passengers were a most motley crew –
Church member, atheist, Gentile, and Jew,

Rich men in broadcloth, beggars in rags,
Handsome young ladies, and withered old hags,
Yellow and black men, red, brown, and white,
All chained together – O God, what a sight!

While the train rushed on at an awful pace –
The sulphurous fumes scorched their hands and face;
Wider and wider the country grew,
As faster and faster the engine flew.

Louder and louder the thunder crashed
And brighter and brighter the lightning flashed;
Hotter and hotter the air became
Till the clothes were burned from each quivering frame.

And out of the distance there arose a yell,
“Ha ha,” said the devil, “we’re nearing hell!”
Then oh, how the passengers all shrieked with pain
And begged the devil to stop the train.

But he capered about and danced for glee,
And laughed and joked at their misery.
“My faithful friends, you have done the work
And the devil never can a payday shirk.

“You’ve bullied the weak, you’ve robbed the poor,
The starving brother you’ve turned from the door;
You’ve laid up gold where the canker rust,
And have given free vent to your beastly lust.

“You’ve justice scorned, and corruption sown,
And trampled the laws of nature down.
You have drunk, rioted, cheated, plundered, and lied,
And  mocked at God in your hell-born pride.

“You have paid full fare, so I’ll carry you through,
For it’s only right you should have your due.
Why the laborer always expects his hire,
So I’ll land you safe in the lake of fire,

“Where you flesh will waste in the flames that roar,
And my imps torment you forevermore.”
Then the cowboy awoke with an anguished cry,
His clothes wet with sweat and his hair standing high.

Then he prayed as he never had prayed till that hour
To be saved from his sin and the demon’s power;
And his prayers and his vows were not in vain,
For he never rode the hell-bound train.

———————————————————————————

*I must say that one does not become a Christian by
saying a “sinner’s prayer”.  Unfortunately, that is something
from the devil as well.

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I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere!

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You Highlands and you Lowlands.
Oh! where have you been?
They have slain the Earl of Murray,
And have laid him on the green.

Now woe be to thee, Huntly,
And wherefore did you sae?
I bade you bring him with you,
But forbad you him to slay.

He was a brave gallant,
And he rid at the ring;
And the bonnie Earl of Murray,
Oh! he might have been a king.

He was a brave gallant,
And he play’d at the ba’;
And the bonnie Earl of Murray
Was the flower among them a’.

He was a brave gallant,
And he play’d at the glove;
And the bonnie Earl of Murray,
Oh! he was the Queen’s love.

Oh! long will his lady
Look over the castle Down,
Ere she see the Earl of Murray
Come sounding through the town.

——————————-

(I have changed some words, such as “hae” to “have”, etc.)

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And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my  bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

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“The wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true-love,
In cold grave she was lain.

I’ll do as much for my true-love
As any young man may;
I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.”

The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
“Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?”

“‘Tis, I, my love, sits on your grave,
And I will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek.”

“You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips;
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.

‘Tis down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk,
The finest flower that ere was seen
Is withered to a stalk.

The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.”

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If you’re ever going to love me love me now, while I can know
All the sweet and tender feelings which from real affection flow.
Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I am gone
And then chisel it in marble-warm love words on ice-cold stone.
If you’ve dear, sweet thoughts about me, why not whisper them to me?
Don’t you know ‘twould make me happy and as glad as glad could be?
If you wait till I am sleeping, ne’er to waken here again,
There’ll be walls of earth between us and I couldn’t hear you then.
If you knew someone was thirsting for a drop of water sweet
Would you be so slow to bring it?  Would you step with laggard feet?
There are tender hearts all round us who are thirsting for our love;
Why withhold from them what nature makes them crave all else above?
I won’t need your kind caresses when the grass grows o’er my face;
I won’t crave your love or kisses in my last low resting place.
So, then, if you love me any, if it’s but a little bit,
Let me know it now while living; I can own and treasure it.

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Oh, where have you been, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Oh, where have you been, charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife, she’s the joy of my young life,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Did she ask you to come in, charming Billy?
She did ask me to come in, with a dimple in her chin,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to sit down, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Did she ask you to sit down, charming Billy?
She did ask me to sit down, with a curtsey to the ground,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

How old is she, Billy boy, Billy boy,
How old is she, charming Billy?
She’s three times six, four times seven, twenty-eight and eleven,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

How tall is she, Billy boy, Billy boy,
How tall is she, charming Billy?
She’s as tall as any pine and as straight’s a pumpkin vine,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Can she make a cherry pie, charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie, quick’s a cat can wink her eye,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Does she often go to church, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Does she often go to church, charming Billy?
Yes, she often goes to church, with her bonnet white as birch,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a pudding well, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Can she make a pudding well, charming Billy?
She can make a pudding well, I can tell it by the smell,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a feather-bed, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Can she make a feather-bed, charming Billy?
She can make a feather-bed, place the pillows at the head,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

Can she card and can she spin, Billy boy, Billy boy,
Can she card and can she spin, charming Billy?
She can card and she can spin, she can do most anything,
She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother.

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the song (3:03) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fuJz2u7oCM

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I wish I were where Helen lies,
Night and day on me she cries;
O that I were where Helen lies,
On fair Kirconnell lea!

Curst be the heart that thought the thought,
And curst the hand that fired the shot,
When in my arms burd Helen dropt,
And died to succour me!

O think na ye my heart was sair,
When my Love dropp’d and spak nae mair!
There did she swoon wi’ meikle care,
On fair Kirconnell lea.

As I went down the water side,
None but my foe to be my guide,
None but my foe to be my guide,
On fair Kirconnell lea;

I lighted down my sword to draw,
I hacked him in pieces sma’,
I hacked him in pieces sma’,
For her sake that died for me.

O Helen fair, beyond compare!
I’ll mak a garland o’ thy hair,
Shall bind my heart for evermair,
Until the day I die!

O that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
Out of my bed she bids me rise,
Says, “Haste, and come to me!”

O Helen fair! O Helen chaste!
If I were with thee, I’d be blest,
Where thou lies low and taks thy rest,
On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish my grave were growing green,
A winding-sheet drawn owre me e’en,
And I in Helen’s arms lying,
On fair Kirconnell lea.

I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
And I am weary of the skies,
For her sake that died for me.

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The strings of camels come in single file,
Bearing their burdens o’er the desert sands.
Swiftly the boats go plying on the Nile –
The needs of men are met on every hand,
But still I wait
For the messenger of God who cometh late.

I see a cloud of dust rise on the plain.
The measured tread of troops falls on my ear.
The soldier comes, the empire to maintain,
Bringing the pomp of war, the reign of fear,
But still I wait
For the messenger of God who cometh late.

They set me watching o’er the desert drear,
Where dwells the darkness, as the deepest night;
From many a mosque there comes the call to prayer –
I hear no voice that calls on God for light.
But still I wait
For the messenger of God who cometh late.

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